What do Ryan Air, Virgin Money, and Google all have in common? They didn't fare too well in the UK Gender Pay Gap reporting in April when 78 percent of companies and public bodies were found to be paying women less than men. And not just a little bit less. There is a median pay gap of 18.4 percent which shows the UK performing worse on average than other OECD countries.

These ten thousand-odd businesses and public bodies have a lot of catching up to do: banking and finance, education, professional and scientific. They are either not paying women at the same rate as men for the same jobs or they are not employing women in the higher paid jobs. Either way this is unfair to one half of the workforce and not good for UK PLC. Women have as much to offer to the growth and prosperity of the economy as men.

But the April reporting only applies to organisations with 250 or more employees - only around half the members of the UK workforce - and it excludes equity partners, often the highest earners.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee in their August report, Gender Pay Gap Reporting, proposes the reporting requirement be rolled out to employers of more than fifty employees. Incumbent on these employers would be full and timely reporting, an explanation of the gap, and proposals for narrowing it. There is already evidence that smaller employees are the worst offenders so if the reporting requirement is widened we could be in for some more startling revelations.

For help or advice on this or other employment law matter, please speak to Emma-Louise Hewitt on 0808 166 8827.

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